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14 Jan 2014

Book review: To Die For by Christopher Pike

It's the perfect weekend...for murder.

A snowbound ski resort.
A tropical beach paradise.
Who wouldn't want to spend their vacations in these dream places?

For two different groups of friends, though, the dreams will quickly turn to nightmares.

On the ski slopes, dark suspicions arise among six girls who may be hiding a deadly secret.

At the beach, a tight knit crew must confront their ugly past...or suffer violent consequences in the present.

In both groups of friends, not everyone is who they seem, and someone is very bloodthirsty....

Christopher Pike's To Die For brings two books in one: Slumber Party and Weekend. Both go well together with the theme of past secrets and tragic disasters between a group of friends. The settings for both books are in very isolated places where the truth about a certain past event finally come out.  Definitely better off being published together otherwise reading these as pure individual stories would have felt too similar. Yet still, both also failed to get me remotely interested in any of the characters and the events. When I was younger I probably would have devoured these stories but YA has come a long way since the short, cheesy YA horror and since reading them again 90s horror isn't as great as I remember.

Both stories have an issue with telling rather than showing. A lot of the characters' personalities were simply told to the audience through the narration rather than letting us find out through body language or habits, etc. The characters were also very typical. Nothing unique or complex about them. They were all the stock characters you could think of. The bitchy frenemy, the goofy sidekick friend, the serious, paranoid one. Not one of them in the books stood out.

While I wasn't hooked on either I think I preferred Slumber Party to Weekend. The end of Weekend felt quite anti-climatic with everything being wrapped up nicely with a bow. The villain wasn't who you thought they were and one of the friend's actions didn't seem to have any consequences. Once the situation was over everyone acted like nothing had happen. Slumber Party was more psychological and I would liked to have seen Pike explore more of the culprit's mind. Those little glimpses we got of their true character were enough to give us a basic idea of what they're like but the rest was left for our imaginations.

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